Feast by Hannah Howard


The compulsively readable memoir of a woman at war—with herself, with her body, and with food—while working her way through the underbelly of New York City’s glamorous culinary scene.Hannah Howard is a Columbia University freshman when she lands a hostess job at Picholine, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Manhattan. Eighteen years old and eager to learn, she’s invigorated by the manic energy and knife-sharp focus of the crew. By day Hanna...

Details Feast

Release DateApr 1st, 2018
PublisherLittle A
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Food and Drink, Food, Biography

Reviews Feast

  • Larry H
    4.5 stars, rounded up. "Life is big and scary. Food is constant, safe, dependable."Growing up in Baltimore, Hannah Howard always loved and appreciated food—ethnic and gourmet specialties as well as comfort food. Her mother was always dieting, always trying to shed those stubborn pounds, and Hannah, who was always taller and more amply proportioned than her classmates, inherited those struggles. She wanted to be popular, to be pretty, to be able...
  • Sherrie
    Hmmm...this was less a rating than a compromise. In the first few chapters, I was captivated. "Yes, exactly that," I thought of the perfect descriptions of food, of eating automatically, compulsively, and the loathing of self and body that follows. The inside look at restaurants and restaurant people interested me enough to hold my attention. Toward the end, I had grown weary of the repetition of poor relationship choices and was counting pages l...
  • Kayo
    Wow. An honest account of a lover of food and life.If you like watching the food channel, you will like this book. Author seems totally relatable. Great book.Thank you to author, publisher and NetGalley for the chance to read book. While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.
  • Jennifer Solheim
    It would be simple and true to say that FEAST was delicious, that I devoured it in one sitting. Howard's writing about food is a sensual pleasure, and her stories about coming of age in New York and the maniacal pace of restaurant life are vivid and engrossing. But particular to this book, in this moment, is the way that Howard represents the treatment of women in the restaurant world. Simmering under the surface of this memoir about food, eating...
  • Mary Beth Hills
    Just finished this last night (I got it from Amazon First Reads on Thursday and flew through it). This book is about Hannah, a high schooler and then a college student and then a freshly-graduated-newly-employed girl who is obsessed with food. She struggles with binging and purging, anorexia, codependency, self worth, and addiction. This book is beautiful and raw and heartbreaking and so, so real. Her writing flows like currents in a river- I was...
  • Chloe
    Feast is a revelation for anyone who's ever looked in the mirror. Whether it was a physical mirror or a metaphorical mirror, whether you liked what you saw or you didn't, this powerful debut resonates. Howard is courageous and lyrical, her words in turn comforting and heartbreaking. Feast is full of giggles when you need them and goosebumps when you least expect them. I made the mistake of starting the book before bed and didn't fall sleep until ...
  • Jeannette Noel
    DepressingYikes. This was excruciating. Short little (maybe?) sentences, and weird run on sentences filled this kindle first read. This is unfortunately a memoir about a sad little rich girl with an eating disorder. She continuously explains the obvious, but on the flipside, throws a million new people into or out of the story with no explanation. It reads like talking to a condescending teenager. Maybe that's acceptable because it is a memoir?
  • Nancy Mendelson
    Just finished reading an advance copy of Feast. Devoured it, actually. Author, Hannah Howard is a magnificent storyteller. She took me on a journey inside her head, her heart, and bared her soul with such compelling generosity. Her eerily accurate descriptions of the self destructive thinking and false perceptions that come with anorexia and body dysmorphia were so much like my own experiences with these insidious disorders, it was strangely comf...
  • Judith Perlin
    Not a good readSelf created angst by a young woman who doesn't have a clue about what life can really dishes out to those who aren't raised by two educated and successful parents who love her. Give me a break.
  • Len Edgerly
    There is a lot to like in this honest, well-written coming-of-age memoir set in the world of high-end restaurants, eating disorder, and poorly chosen older lovers. It's a challenge to weave these disparate topics into a natural story. Sometimes the effort falters, but the book as a whole succeeds in presenting a young life fully lived and artfully reflected upon.It's also a challenge to write in an original way about success in a 12-step program,...
  • Sue King
    Raw and heartfelt. A satisfying memoir of hunger and fulfillment, good days and bad, love and self-loathing.
  • Goth Gone Grey
    Stunningly lovely, sad yet hopefulI made the mistake of downloading this before work, reading the first chapter as I brushed my teeth and got dressed, falling into the writing style immediately. I read a few pages while filling my car with gas, and tucked beneath a blanket on the couch as soon as I got home to read the rest in one breathless rush, binging on the author's words with delight. She writes with poetic beauty of her love for food, desc...
  • Vivien
    As a woman who has an eating disorder this book was an incredibly disappointing. Hannah is obsessed with food, okay great. She thinks about food all the time. She wants to be skinny and hates her body. There is no actual substance to the character nor the book nor does there actually seem to be a point to the book. In one paragraph Hannah is raped and the author goes from food to rape to food again. At no time is there any introspective look at h...
  • laurie
    I enjoyed the parts where she wrote about food — her obviously deep understanding of and affection for it across the foodservice industry juxtaposed with her personal struggles with food addiction were really interesting and mostly well-written. Her college scene, well-done and interesting. I don’t understand why it devolved into what felt like a lengthy character assessment of her addict ex and his issues, especially given her own involvemen...
  • Michele
    I couldn’t put down Hannah Howard’s painfully honest, relatable, and well-written memoir of descent into, and recovery from, eating disorders. So much of this book rang true to me, but none more than this: “I hope that if I have daughters, children, I won’t pass on this particular pain. I’m sure they will have their own problems, but I hope they see me licking a cone of gelato with joy. I hope when they look in the mirror they smile.”...
  • Tracey
    Thank you for writing about your struggle, although I do not share the same struggle I recognized a lot of myself in your story and I’ve come to the realization that there is no “perfect me” it’s just me and that’s more than ok.
  • Sara Froi
    AddictiveI loved reading this book! I'm going to school to be a counselor and it was really great to read something from this perspective. Hannah's journey is so inspiring and relatable.
  • Gretchen
    Such a fantastic memoir. Excellent food writing, made me want to eat everything. Torturous eating disordered thinking.
  • Lucia Hassen
    I loved this book. The author tells her story beautifully. I began reading fearing it might be a fluffy madcap NYC party girl with eating issues book - making light of a serious problem. But no, the author's writes so intelligently, thoughtfully, and humorously that the reader is instantly engaged in her story and struggles.
  • Caroline
    Hannah's story is a familiar one. I haven't met a woman yet who says she never had an unhealthy relationship with food. The why is as varied as there are flavors of ice cream, and yet familiar: the desire to please, to be loved, to love, to find acceptance, to fill an emptiness. And yet Hannah's story is unlike many as her unhealthy relationship becomes something she can't control. Beautifully written and honest without being self absorbed, Hanna...
  • J. Danielle Wingler
    This was a good narrative and brought up many issues that women quietly struggle with on a daily basis. I have found myself in similar situations or struggling with similar thoughts even though the main character, Hannah, struggles with it in a more extreme way. It focuses more on her learning to love herself while her eating disorder takes her to many different extremes over the first 30 years of her life (until her late twenties). Other charact...
  • Jean
    I held off choosing Feast: True Love in and out of the Kitchen by Hannah Howard as my free Kindle first book due to longtime ongoing personal reasons: fighting with my own weight, a dislike of my own body, and mainly a fear that I would want to eat if I read great descriptions of food. Fortunately the other choices of the month didn't appeal to me and it was Feast or no feast at all. I was stunned by the beauty of this memoir. The author's descri...
  • Kristi Lamont
    I binged on this food addiction recovery memoir up until suddenly I felt the need to purge.....which, now that I think about it, happens with me a lot when I read memoirs of any sort. I find myself thinking, "I'm not sure I would've told _that_" and/or, "Wow, how self-centered can one person be?" Um, well, duh Kristi, they're writing memoirs....Back to this book: It was very well-written and I did enjoy it up until the last few sections; I really...
  • Wendy
    I started to write that I found this book to be a "compulsive" read, and maybe that's an apt descriptor for a memoir about compulsion in many forms: compulsion to eat, to starve, to date unsuitable men, to self-loathe, all while immersed in the decadence of the NYC culinary scene. I found the author's tales of hostessing and restaurant managing the most fascinating, and I liked how she brought her enthusiasm for food to the page. I've never eaten...
  • Amy
    I really didnt expect to like this book as much I did. If you google books about an anorexic and bulemic girl you get over 400,000 instant hits; every woman thinks her story is unique and ofcourse it is but...... What I liked were the passages abaout the food prep, its taste, its appearance, its consumption, and the people who cook and make and sell food and all the pomp and circumstance surrounding food. She takes us "backstage" to the world of ...
  • Janet
    From her teens, Hannah Howard had always been obsessed with food, especially fine food. After an overly critical childhood, where her mother cared far more about Hannah's weight than Hannah did, she clawed her way into Columbia University and then searched for her place in the food industry. She started out at a gelato cart and then worked in a variety of venues: haute cuisine restaurants, gourmet food stores, and even a chain steak house restau...
  • Robin
    Nothing surprising here, although I did enjoy the story. Had to deduct a star for lazy writing...Hannah loves food, so much that she knows her career will be spent around food. Sadly, she also has a weight issue, initially caused by societal demands on a young lady, and then because of the strange hours that come with working in restaurants.In addition to her love of food is the men in her life, and the impact they have had on her. The best are w...